Pennsylvania’s Online Poker Industry Stagnates Despite Operating for Four Years

The latest report on online poker’s revenue in Pennsylvania shocked many people as it indicated that the operators generated the least revenue in 44 months. This comes a few days after West Virginia was allowed to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA).

Michigan increased its poker revenue when it joined the gaming compact. PokerStars merged its New Jersey and Michigan player pools for shared liquidity hence boosting their poker industries. Besides, the two pools are the largest in MSIGA now.

Still, many gaming experts expected Pennsylvania’s move to join the agreement would benefit online poker operators. They predicted that a large percentage of its 12.9 million residents would play at home like other players in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Michigan.

It is uncertain whether Pennsylvania will start setting new poker revenue records soon. PokerStars opened its first online gaming venue in the state in November 2019. Yet, Pennsylvania has four licensed operators including Borgata, BetMGM, the World Series of Poker Series (WSOP), and PokerStars. But, Borgata and BetMGM share a platform hence leaving players with three gaming choices.

The state’s poker operators raked in $2.35 million in revenue last month and it was 5.8 percent less than their October 2022 revenue. Besides, it was 17.5 percent less than the October 2021 profits and the lowest figure since February 2020. PokerStars was the only poker operator in Pennsylvania in early 2020.

Reports show that Pennsylvania’s online poker play has been decreasing or stagnant in the last four years. Yet, its online casino industry is thriving.

Teaming up with other states to form larger player pools might boost the state’s iPoker sector. It will enable operators to offer a wide array of cash games throughout the day and accept various denominations. Moreover, they will organize events with huge cash prizes.

The Governor’s Input Can Revive the Poker Sector

The MSIGA’s administrators lack the mandate to mobilize other states to join the compact. Instead, that is each jurisdiction’s officials’ duty.

Michael Morton from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) oversees the agreement. He informed Penn Bets that they are waiting to welcome anyone who decided to join the gaming compact.

Doug Harbach, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) spokesman stated that online gaming companies have nudged the agency because of the state’s decision to join the MSIGA. He added that the gaming agency couldn’t solely make such a decision but it would be involved in any gaming negotiation.

Harbach stated that they usually informed gaming companies that the governor has to agree and implement such a compact in accordance with the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. He accused Governor Josh Shapiro of not showing interest in finalizing the agreement. Still, the current leadership hasn’t made any improvements yet.

Shapiro succeeded Governor Tom Wolf this year despite being the state’s former attorney general. He has spent most of his first year in budget negotiations that the legislature’s Democratic-Republican political divide has prolonged.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.